Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lemon Grass | Mosquito Deterrent?


The first time I experienced lemongrass in any form was as a garnish on top of a salad. It was curled like a ribbon. Since that time I was told by a woman in the market it was good to chew on for headaches and now I hear it can be used to discourage mosquitoes.

I found bunches at a market in Dallas and have started to root some to plant in strategic places in my yard to act as a wall with a notice to mosquitoes, "no mosquitoes allowed."

I cut off a small amount from the base of the lemon grass and peeled back a couple of leaves and placed the lemon grass in a tall container filled with fresh water. The water needs to be freshened daily. Once that is done you should see roots emerge within a week.

"A genus of tall, mostly perennial, grasses, natives of the tropics, and useful for border planting. They grow to a height of six feet and have fragrant leaves to three feet long and 3/4 inches wide, covered with a whitish bloom.  The flower clusters may be 2 1/2 foot long.  Cymbopogon nardus (Citronella Grass has tapering, lance-like spikelets, while those of Cymbopogon citratus (Lemon Grass) are linear and not tapering. Cymbopogon choenanthus (Camel-hay) is a dwarf species, to two feet with the joints of its flower clusters covered with air. Citronella oil, used as a deterrent against mosquitos, is derived from Cymbopogon nardus and other species."(1)

1. The Wise Garden Encyclopedia. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 1990. Print

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